Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve been an insatiable reader since I discovered Classic Comics at 9. I also read fast, during a 3 hour flight, I would read 3 pocket books. John D. McDonald, Robert A. Heinlien, W.E.B> Griffith, and others influenced my interests, and later, my writing. I learned electronics during a 4 year hitch in the Navy, and spent the next 40 years as a tech, engineer, exec, and CEO in the Defense, and Welding Automation industries. I did a lot of business and technical writing over the years. On one cross country flight, the Science Fiction book I had paid $5 for was really bad. I came to the conclusion that I could write a better book than the one I held. Over the years, I wrote drafts of several novels during buts of time not devoted to business or family. I reached the 90% point on a near-term Science Fiction novel, and had started thinking about getting it published. Then the Soviet Union fell apart, and destroyed the first third of the book. The 5 1/4″ floppy file went on the shelf.
I had just purchased a HP Pocket PC, with a resident word processing program in January of 1990. I was going to Japan on business for the 7th time, and knew I would have a lot of time to kill over there. I planned to do some writing during my flights and down time. I was not going to attempt another near-term SF book, so I started writing a novel set inthe pre-war Battleship navy.
BB-39 is a Greatest Generation Story of a group of 5 young men from a small southwestern town, who join the Navy in 1938.
The bones of the story were completed by the time I returned from Japan. Real life kept me from completing it. By 2000 I started thing about publishing BB-39. I started researching what I needed to do. I was capable at researching, and found that I needed to find an agent, who would then sell my book to a publisher. I researched all about query letters, and started sending ultimately, over 200 over that year. I quickly found that there were more people making money off of new authors than there were new authors making money. I found a lot of cheap talk and promises, which required me putting up a lot of cash, with no real guarantee of success, except maybe a garage full of unsold books. I did finally contact a reputable agent of authors for naval historical fiction. He read my book, liked it, but told me that it would not be worth his time to attempt to sell it to a reputable publisher. Because I was not a sports, or a rock star, an a crooked politician, or an axe murderer, they wouldn’t take the time to even read it. The book, on a 3 1/2″ floppy, went back on the shelf.
When I retired for the fourth time in 2011, I resolved to get serious about writing and publishing. I discovered that Amazon had bypassed the big publishers and their gatekeepers. There were still lots of companies willing to take my money, but I could go directly to Amazon, and publish my work as a Kindle ebook, without spending a lot. That was important, since I was living on SSI.
I published BB-39 in July of 2012, and presently have 16 books on Amazon. I write historical based naval action, hard Science Fiction, and Post-Apoptotic novels and novellas.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Last November, I published the first of an Alternate History trilogy. ‘After The Days OF Infamy’ diverges from fact with the discovery of a Helium source on a northern Japanese island. In this story, the two attacks on December 7th are made by a fleet of 4 Airship Aircraft Carriers. The same fleet hits the west coast later in the week and destroys most of the shipyards, aircraft plants, shipping, and industries in Puget Sound, the San Fransisco Bay, Los Angelo, Long Beach, and San Diego.
Airships, aviation, and naval history have always fascinated me, and this project has allowed be to explore what if, by injecting a few minor tweeks. This is not a Steam Punk story, and it is based on the existing technology, if were applied by the availability of Helium to Germany and Japan.
I hope to release the next book in the trilogy ‘After The Rockets Fell’ this fall.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
My vision is failing, so I now use a 38″ monitor, and will probably need to shift to DragonSpeak within the next 5 years. I have had to install an Led strip light above my keyboard after back-lighting was not working well. I have always been a hunt and peck typist, and I’ll never achieve a 1000 words a day, but I keep plugging.
I spend the early morning doing research on the net, of things that interest me, current world events, technologies, the writing market, and whatever my current project might require. This morning, I found a map that shows the rail lines present in Russia during WW2.
After a lite lunch an a half hour nap, I spend the afternoon writing, or, editing, or cover creating, or promoting. I stop around 5PM, make a batch of popcorn, and watch the evening news. I’m a good Cook (Love my Instapot). We watch a recorded TV show, and then I spend a couple of hours playing the on-line game ‘World of Warships’. I wind down for the evening by reading on my Kindle for a half hour before going to bed.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
What are you working on now?
The second book in my Alt History Trilogy, After The Rockets Fell.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have done a poor job of promoting my books to date. I’ve done some Amazon, facebook, and a couple of others. With the current increase in AMS costs I am looking at other options.
I have been Wide a couple of times, but the KU page reads make me more money, so all my books are now exclusive to Amazon, the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write about what is of interest to you. I don’t feel I am currently selling enough to be giving advise to others.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Work at what you enjoy doing. You only go around once in life.
What are you reading now?
I just finished a John D. McDonald Science Fiction novel ‘The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything’. I did not enjoy this one as well as any of the Travis McGee books. I just don’t care for fantasy, or magic.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Write the third Alt History book, and do a better job of promotion.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Ask me the day before the stranding.